Advair Diskus

Generic Name: Salmeterol

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Advair Diskus is a medicine used to treat asthma and airway narrowing associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis (long-term inflammation of the lungs) and emphysema (lung disease that causes shortness of breath).

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Advair Diskus contains two medicines: fluticasone and salmeterol. Fluticasone works by decreasing inflammation in your lungs, while salmeterol works by relaxing muscles in your airways.

    This medication is not used for emergency or immediate treatment of symptoms of asthma or COPD. Always have a short-acting rescue inhaler (such as albuterol) to treat sudden symptoms.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?


    Asthma: Advair Diskus helps prevent asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath.

    COPD: Advair Diskus may decrease the number of flare-ups of COPD symptoms you experience and improve your lung function for better breathing.

    When: Advair Diskus may start controlling your asthma within 30 minutes of inhaling it.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may feel an improvement in your breathing once you begin using Advair Diskus. Your healthcare provider may perform tests to check your lung function and ask you questions to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    If you have asthma and use Advair Diskus, you can have an increased risk of death from asthma problems. Tell your healthcare provider if your breathing problems worsen over time while you are using Advair Diskus. Get emergency medical care if your breathing problems worsen quickly or if you use your rescue inhaler medicine, but it does not relieve your symptoms.


    More common side effects may include: upper respiratory infection, sore throat, hoarseness or voice changes, fungal infection in your mouth and throat, bronchitis, cough, headaches, nausea, vomiting.


    More common side effects may include: fungal infection in your mouth and throat, sore throat, hoarseness or voice changes, respiratory infections, headaches, muscle and bone pain.

    Less common side effects of Advair Diskus may include:

    Sudden breathing problems right after inhaling your medicine.

    Effects on your heart or nervous system with symptoms such as increased blood pressure, fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, shaking, nervousness.

    Weakened immune system and a higher chance of infections.

    Weakened bones, especially if you already have a higher risk for low bone density.

    Eye problems, including glaucoma (high pressure in the eye) and cataracts.

    Slowed growth in children.

    Pneumonia with symptoms such as increased mucus production, changes in mucus color, fever, chills, increased cough, or increased breathing problems.

    Decreased blood potassium levels, or increased blood sugar levels.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not use Advair Diskus if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or to milk proteins.

    Do not use Advair Diskus to treat sudden, severe symptoms of asthma or COPD (such as an asthma attack).

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Advair Diskus. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart, thyroid, or liver problems; high blood pressure; seizures; diabetes; osteoporosis (thin, weak bones); cataracts or glaucoma; tuberculosis (a bacterial infection that affects the lungs) or any type of infection (including an eye infection); or if you had chickenpox or measles or have recently been near anyone with chickenpox or measles.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults and children ≥4 years: The usual dose is 1 inhalation twice a day (morning and evening, about 12 hours apart). Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate strength for you or your child.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Use Advair Diskus exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not use it more often or stop using it without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    After each dose, rinse your mouth with water and spit it out. Do not swallow the water.

    Throw away Advair Diskus 1 month after you remove it from the foil overwrap pouch or when the dose indicator reads "0," whichever comes first.

    Please review the instructions that came with your prescription on how to properly use your inhaler.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not use extra doses of Advair Diskus if you do not feel or taste the medicine when you inhale it. Advair Diskus delivers your dose of medicine as a very fine powder and you may not taste or feel it.

    Do not come in contact with anyone who has chickenpox or measles while you are using Advair Diskus.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Advair Diskus is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Advair Diskus with the following: atazanavir, blood pressure/heart medications known as beta-blockers (such as propranolol), certain antidepressants (such as nortriptyline or phenelzine), clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telithromycin, or water pills (such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide).

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Advair Diskus during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are using Advair Diskus. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Advair Diskus, skip that dose and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not inhale two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature, away from direct heat or sunlight.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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